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Google App Inventor

Book Description

Create powerful Android apps the easy all-visual way with Google App Inventor

  • All the basics of App Inventor in plain English with lots of illustrations

  • Learn how apps get created with lots of simple, fun examples

  • By an author with over 100 books, who keeps it entertaining, informative, and memorable. You’ll be inventing apps from the first day.

  • In Detail

    The number of mobile apps has grown exponentially in the last two years. If you want to join the crowd, Google’s App Inventor is the easiest and best tool for you to get started with. It is a tool to create Android phone apps and uses a graphical user interface, and drag and drop methods to create apps. It’s so simple that anyone can build an app.

    Learn how Google App Inventor eliminates the mystery around programming. It is a visual language, where we simply drag and drop blocks (graphic elements representing blocks of code) in various combinations to give us applications that run on our phones or other Android-based devices. No programming background is required. Playing with blocks has never been more fun!

    The emphasis is on creating apps that work and that you understand fully. The first part of the book gives you a sound foundation in the basics, and lots of tips on how to use App Inventor. The second part is all about creating complete apps ready for real world use. The book includes apps that communicate, use databases to remember, surf the Web and other networks, use GPS and various sensors on your phone, and let you write or play games.

    Table of Contents

    1. Google App Inventor
      1. Table of Contents
      2. Google App Inventor
      3. Credits
      4. About the Author
      5. About the Reviewers
      6. www.PacktPub.com
        1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers and more
          1. Why Subscribe?
          2. Free Access for Packt account holders
      7. Preface
        1. What this book covers
        2. What you need for this book
        3. Who this book is for
        4. Conventions
        5. Time for action—heading
          1. What just happened?
          2. Pop quiz heading
          3. Have a go hero—heading
        6. Reader feedback
        7. Customer support
          1. Errata
          2. Piracy
          3. Questions
      8. 1. Obtaining and Installing Google App Inventor
        1. Getting a Google App Inventor Account
        2. Time for action—signing up for a Google Account
          1. What just happened?
        3. Google App Inventor on the Web
        4. Time for action—logging into App Inventor
          1. What just happened?
        5. Requirements for Windows, Mac, and Linux
        6. Obtaining and installing Java
        7. Installing Java on your computer
        8. Installing App Inventor locally
        9. Time for action—installing App Inventor on Mac
        10. Time for action—installing App Inventor on GNU/Linux
        11. Time for action—installing App Inventor on Windows
          1. What just happened?
        12. Setting up and running the emulator
        13. Time for action—opening up the emulator
          1. What just happened?
        14. Finding and downloading drivers
          1. Mac
          2. Linux
        15. Time for action—connecting a Droid to Ubuntu
          1. What just happened?
          2. Windows
        16. Time for action—configuring our device
          1. What just happened?
          2. Pop Quiz
        17. Summary
      9. 2. Learning Components
        1. Using App Inventor's web interface
          1. My Projects
        2. Time for action—creating a new project
          1. What just happened?
        3. Time for action—downloading our projects
          1. What just happened?
        4. Time for action—uploading source code
          1. What just happened?
          2. Design
        5. Time for action—connecting our phone
          1. What just happened?
          2. Designing our apps
        6. Basic components
          1. Button
        7. Time for action—adding and configuring a button
          1. What just happened?
          2. Canvas
        8. Time for action—follow the bouncing ball
          1. What just happened?
          2. Checkbox
          3. Clock
          4. Image
          5. Label
          6. ListPicker
          7. PasswordTextBox
          8. TextBox
          9. TinyDB
        9. Media components
          1. Camera
        10. Time for action—shooting a photo
          1. What just happened?
          2. ImagePicker
          3. Player
          4. Have a go hero—build a music player
          5. Sound
        11. Time for action—vibrating buttons
          1. VideoPlayer
        12. Animation components
          1. Ball
          2. ImageSprite
        13. Social components
          1. ContactPicker
          2. EmailPicker
          3. PhoneCall
          4. PhoneNumberPicker
          5. Texting
          6. Twitter
        14. Sensor components
        15. Screen arrangement components
        16. LEGO® MINDSTORMS® components
        17. Other stuff
        18. Not ready for prime time
        19. Summary
      10. 3. Playing with Blocks
        1. The Blocks Editor
          1. The top bar
          2. Have a go hero—capture screens from your phone
        2. Time for action—collapse and expand block groups
          1. What just happened?
        3. Time for action—deleting unwanted blocks
          1. What just happened?
        4. Definition blocks
          1. procedureWithResult
        5. Time for action—calculating the area of a circle using a function Design
          1. What just happened?
        6. Time for action—calculating the area of a circle using a function
          1. What just happened?
        7. Time for action—finishing the "pi are square" app
          1. What just happened?
        8. Time for action—adding an error trap
          1. What just happened?
          2. Procedure
          3. Variable
          4. Name
          5. Dummy
        9. Text Blocks
          1. Have a go hero—displaying a list
        10. List blocks
          1. CSV list blocks
        11. Math blocks
        12. Logic blocks
        13. Control blocks
        14. Time for action—making a loop
          1. What just happened?
        15. Colors blocks
        16. Individual component blocks
          1. Pop quiz
        17. Summary
      11. 4. Mastering Concepts and Advanced Components
        1. Changelog
        2. Concepts
          1. Live development, testing, and debugging
          2. Specifying sizes of components
          3. Accessing images and sounds
        3. Other stuff
          1. ActivityStarter
        4. Time for action building bookmark apps
          1. What just happened?
          2. BarcodeScanner
        5. Time for action—our very own barcode scanner
          1. What just happened?
          2. Bluetooth
          3. Notifier
          4. Have a go hero—notifier with two buttons
          5. SpeechRecognizer
        6. Time for action—build a time- and date-stamped Voice Note Taker
          1. What just happened?
          2. TextToSpeech
        7. Time for action—reading aloud
          1. What just happened?
          2. TinyWebDB
        8. Time for action—storing persistent data on the web
          1. What just happened?
          2. Web
        9. Not Ready for Prime Time
          1. FusiontablesControl
          2. GameClient
          3. SoundRecorder
          4. Voting
        10. What we learned
      12. 5. Apps That Communicate
        1. App—phone home
          1. CallFriends app
        2. Time for action—getting the source
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero—modify this app and make it your own
        3. Texting with words and more
        4. Time for action—building a texting app
          1. What just happened?
        5. Time for action—create a text-your-friends app
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero—adding receiving texts
        6. Applications e-mailing stuff
        7. Time for action—that Loving feeling
          1. What just happened?
        8. Social communication
        9. Time for action—two methods for searching Twitter
          1. What just happened?
          2. Facebook and other social media sites
        10. A bonus template
          1. Pop quiz
        11. Summary
      13. 6. Apps That Remember
        1. Lists and Lists of Lists
          1. Static lists
          2. Changeable lists
        2. Time for action—building the input screen for a Friends List
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero—completing the Friends List application
          3. Handling database records
        3. Time for action—converting a CSV table
          1. What just happened?
        4. TinyDB—persistent to please
        5. Web component—reaching out to the web
          1. Parsing
        6. Time for action—using parsing to break out the states of India
          1. What just happened?
          2. Get
        7. Summary
      14. 7. Apps That Surf the Web
        1. Browsing and using websites
        2. Time for action—building an eBay link app
          1. What just happened?
        3. Fusion Tables—Google's free online data service
        4. Quickie data-getter—finding the fourth way
        5. TinyWebDB—accessing and storing data
        6. Time for action—testing TinyWebDB
          1. What just happened?
        7. Publishing your apps for the world
          1. Pop quiz
        8. Summary
      15. 8. Apps That Know Where They Are
        1. Changelog
          1. Bringing web pages into our apps
        2. Time for action—showing three websites at the same time inside an app
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
          3. Using the Post method with the Web component
          4. Advanced tab in Blocks Editor
          5. Other changes
        3. Son of Changelog
        4. Using the location sensor
        5. Using Google Maps
        6. Time for action—determining our location by network
          1. What just happened?
        7. Time for action—determining our location by GPS
          1. What just happened?
        8. Time for action—taking a look from space
          1. What just happened?
        9. Using the AccelerometerSensor component
        10. Time for action—seeing gravity and acceleration on our phones
          1. What just happened?
        11. Time for action—nice and level
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero—make a more realistic level
        12. Which way are we?
        13. Time for action—seeing azimuth, pitch, and roll
          1. What just happened?
        14. Time for action—building a compass
          1. What just happened?
        15. How high are we?
        16. Time for action—finding your current altitude
          1. What just happened?
        17. How far from home are we?
        18. Time for action—creating the end and the beginning
          1. What just happened?
        19. Time for action—getting the current address, longitude, and latitude
          1. What just happened?
        20. Time for action—saving our home location
          1. What just happened?
        21. Time for action—the distance between home and wherever here is
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero—turn the GPS On and Off
        22. Summary
      16. 9. Games and Animation!
        1. Animation
        2. Time for action—bouncing a ball
          1. What just happened?
        3. Time for action—banging things off each other
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero—playing with the other animation blocks
          3. What just happened?
          4. Have a go hero—add features to the game
          5. Some more basics of App Inventor animation
        4. Splash screens
        5. Time for action—designing a splash screen
          1. What just happened?
        6. Time for action—making a splash with the splash page
          1. What just happened?
        7. Bash the Alien!
        8. Time for action—throwing blocks to Bash the Alien!
          1. What just happened?
        9. Knowledge games
        10. GameClient component
        11. Summary
        12. Thank you!
      17. A. Links and Resources
        1. Websites
        2. Troubleshooting
        3. Using the Android SDK
        4. Java Bridge
      18. B. Last-Minute Update
        1. Status of App Inventor
        2. Last-minute update
      19. C. Final Last-Minute Update
        1. Letter from the App Inventor Team
      20. D. Pop Quiz Answers
        1. Chapter 1
          1. Obtaining and Installing Google App Inventor
        2. Chapter 3
          1. Playing with Blocks
        3. Chapter 5
          1. Apps That Communicate
        4. Chapter 7
          1. Apps That Surf the Web
      21. Index